Skip to main content
Society of Indiana Pioneers logo


Why should I join the Society?

By joining the Society of Indiana Pioneers, you honor and recognize your ancestors who came to the state in its earliest days, and ensure that their memory – and legacy – is maintained.

Your participation in the membership process adds information to the Society’s extensive genealogical records, helping others to trace their Hoosier heritage.

Society membership provides access to entertaining and educational events, including Hoosier Heritage Pilgrimage trips, and helps to support newsletter and website content that brings Indiana history to life.

Your dues help to support critical Indiana history education and initiatives through our graduate fellowship program, the John H. Holliday Award for junior history efforts in the state, and field trip grants for students in grades 4 to 12 to visit significant Indiana history locations.

Finally, membership in a lineage society is something to be proud of. The Society offers certificates, pins, and other items to show the world you’re part of a respected and long-standing organization.


If you have a direct-line ancestor that resided in the State of Indiana by December of the eligibility year, then you may submit an application for membership in The Society of Indiana Pioneers.

The Society has a two-tiered eligibility map, shown below.

  • The counties in blue were settled earlier; ancestors from those counties must have resided there not later than December 31, 1840.
  • The counties in yellow were founded closer to 1840 or later; ancestors from those counties must have resided there not later than December 31, 1850.


Society of Indiana Pioneers Eligibility Date Map by County

Is my ancestor already proven?

When you trace your ancestry to a settler who lived in Indiana during its pioneer era, the application documentation for that settler becomes part of the Society’s genealogical archives — a unique source of information about Indiana’s pioneers.

All proven ancestors of Society members are available to search. If you find your Indiana Pioneer Ancestor’s name, that means that someone has already submitted an application sometime since 1916 when the group was formed, so we may have information that could be helpful in your application for membership.

If you find your ancestor in the database, make sure to send the genealogist an email at and we will check to see what is on file for your ancestor.

Types of Membership

Joining the Society involves completing the membership application and also providing any necessary documentation to prove birth, death, and marriage information for each ancestor and the generational connections between the prospective member and the Indiana Pioneer.

  • The very first application you make is your “Initial Application” and requires a $25.00 fee.
  • Each application you make after the first one is considered an “Added Line Application” and requires a $15.00 fee. You might do this if you want to add your pioneer ancestor’s spouse or other connected ancestors to your original application; each would be considered an “Added Line.”

Regular membership

Regular membership is open to persons eighteen years of age or older who prove one or more of their ancestors meets the qualification of an Indiana Pioneer.

Yearly dues for Regular membership are $25.00.

Sustaining membership

Sustaining membership is available to persons who qualify for Regular membership and wish to provide additional financial support for the work of the Society.

Yearly dues for Sustaining membership are $35.00

Associate membership

Associate membership is available to any person having an interest in early Indiana history or genealogy and does not require a documented application.

Yearly dues for Associate membership are $25.00

Junior Pioneer membership

Junior Pioneer membership is available to persons under the age of eighteen who have a qualifying Indiana Pioneer ancestor.

Yearly dues for Junior membership are $10.00

Life membership

Life membership is available to any person eligible as a Regular, Junior Pioneer, or Associate member for a one-time payment of $600.00.

When a prospective member applies for the first time, it is considered to be their “Initial Application.” This ancestor will always be listed as their very first ancestor. Many people choose their eldest qualified ancestor or an ancestor who has sentimental meaning, such as one with the same surname or maiden-surname.

When the applicant has all their documents copied and ready to submit along with their application, a check must accompany the documents that includes the Initial Application fee ($25.00) plus the Regular Membership yearly dues ($25.00) for a total of $50.00.

Each subsequent application submitted after the Initial Application are considered to be “Added Lines” (even if they are starting a new line in the family tree!) The fee for each Added Line is $15.00.

Some members just connect one ancestor – it only takes one! – and others add all of their eligible ancestors (see the map above). It’s really up to you to decide!